There was a rumor floating around over a month ago or so that there was a possibility of Topps Heritage High Numbers in 2012. I, for one, asked Topps to do away with the Topps Heritage Minor League product and replace it with Topps Heritage High Numbers. In my opinion, Topps Heritage Minor League cheapens the Topps Heritage brand and image it has built over the years with the inclusion of sticker autos. While Topps did not do away with Topps Heritage Minor League in 2012, they did make the following statement on September 8th on Twitter:
“might have another Heritage treat for you in 2012”.
This led me to speculate that there might be a high series or a mini version of all 500 base cards of the 2012 Topps Heritage set. I thought this because it was too late in the year to promote and release a product by normal channels via sell sheets and pre-ordering. Then on October 2nd, my speculation was correct as Beckett confirmed that Topps would be releasing 2012 Topps Heritage High Numbers -- a 100 card boxed set that can only be bought through www.shoptopps.com. Also included in each set is one on-card autograph. Beckett stated that the sets will be available October 17th. Here are some sample pictures of what to expect with the base cards:
I contacted Topps on the 17th to find out if the product has been delayed as the set was not yet available on their web site. They confirmed that it has been delayed due to the fact that they were still trying to finish up getting the cards autographed. I do not mind waiting longer for this since I know that it takes time to get cards autographed and I definitely do not want Topps to cheapen the Heritage brand by including sticker autographs! After I contacted them, Topps released additional information about the upcoming release. Topps announced that there will only be 1,000 sets made and there will be red ink autographs serially numbered to 10. Most importantly, Topps announced the price of this set -- $99.95. After Topps made this announcement, the social media outlets vented quite a bit of frustration. Here is what some people had to say on Twitter:
@brentandbecca – “Holy cow!! $100 for 100 card set! Geez. Way too high”
@scottcrawford – “$100? I’m gonna hurl.”
@Joe_Poll -- $100 bucks…boy collecting cards is freakin’ expensive.”
@tqsundstrom – a Benjamin for the set?!? Bleh.”
At first, my thoughts were similar to these but before I give out my opinions, I need a little more information before making a decision on whether I think the $99.95 price tag is worth it. Topps has not yet announced how many different autographs are in the set. What is important to know about the autographs are the print runs. I hope that the print runs are the same across the board. I would like to know that I am getting the same chance at a Bryce Harper autograph as I would any other autographed card. In 2012 Topps Heritage, superstar autographs were extremely limited and the print runs were never announced. This is confusing to collectors, especially long time loyal Heritage collectors who have been used to a 200 card print run for blue ink Real One Autographs for years. Not the case anymore and since Topps has not released blue ink autograph print runs in Heritage lately; collectors need to be careful of this. Once Topps releases the autograph checklist (and hopefully print runs), I will then decide how many sets to buy. It will be interesting to see if Topps only uses rookies in their autograph lineup or if they decide to include veteran players or better yet – Hall of Famers! Speaking of autographs, here are some samples...
One thing I find interesting is the choice of packaging used by Topps. Here it is:
Doesn’t Topps realize that this is the design for 2011 Heritage paying homage to the 1962 set and not 2012 Heritage which is patterened after the classic 1963 Topps design?
I would very interested to know why Topps went this route with the packaging as it does not make sense to me.
Topps stated that collectors can start to place their orders for the 2012 Topps Heritage High Number set right away. The sets will start to ship November 6th. I wouldn’t be surprised if Topps included a little extra unannounced bonus to make these sets worth the $99.95 price tag, maybe the inclusion of High Number chromes perhaps?